Direct.gov False Council Tax Refund – Phishing

Phishing

Another brand new email phishing attempt that is a spin off from the typical HMRC tax refund scams. This one pretends to be from Direct.Gov and offers you a false Council Tax refund

DIRECT GOV
LOCAL OFFICE No. 822332
TAX CREDIT OFFICER: Rodney Williams
COUNCIL TAX REFUND ID NUMBER: 26425124578
REFUND AMOUNT: 315.25 GBP

Dear Applicant,
Unless expressly authorised by us, any further dissemination or distribution of this email or its attachments is prohibited.
I am sending this email to announce: After the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of 315.25 GBP

The dispute follows miscalculations of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) liabilities last year, which DIRECT GOV originally also denied when reported in this space but later admitted affected millions of people. You can now reclaim your over paid tax now by complete the tax return form attached to this message.

After completing the form, please submit the form by clicking the ‘Refund Council Tax Now !’ button on form and allow us 5-9 business days in order to process it.

Our head office address can be found on our web site at DIRECT GOV

Rodney Williams

DIRECT GOV Credit Office
Preston
COUNCIL TAX REFUND ID: UK26425124578-HMRC

DIRECT GOV denies profiting from tax refund delays which leading accountants claim are becoming more widespread and make taxpayers wait months to get back what they are due.

Copyright 2021, DIRECT GOV UK All rights reserved.

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This one wants your personal details and your credit card and bank details. Many of them are also designed to specifically steal your email, facebook and other social network log in details.

Please read our How to protect yourselves page for simple, sensible advice on how to avoid being infected by this sort of socially engineered malware.

The original email looks like this, and of course at this time of year ( or anytime of year) we all need a few extra pennies and the offer of a tax refund is always welcome. It will NEVER be a genuine email from The Government so don’t ever fill in the html ( webpage) form that comes attached to the email. Some versions of this phish will have a link to a website that looks at first glance like the genuine Direct Gov website. That is also false.

Direct.gov false Council Tax refund fake email

If you open the attached html file you see a webpage looking like:

Direct.gov false Council Tax refund fake site

All of these emails use Social engineering tricks to persuade you to open the attachments that come with the email. Whether it is a message saying “look at this picture of me I took last night” and it appears to come from a friend or is more targeted at somebody who regularly is likely to receive PDF attachments or Word .doc attachments or any other common file that you use every day. Or whether it is a straight forward attempt, like this one, to steal your personal, bank, credit card or email and social networking log in details.

Be very careful when unzipping them and make sure you have “show known file extensions enabled“, And then look carefully at the unzipped file. If it says .EXE then it is a problem and should not be run or opened.

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